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Thursday 31 October ,2019

The National Archives organizes a book signing ceremony for Zayed Ruler of Al Ain at Sharjah International Book Fair 2019

The National Archives organizes a book signing ceremony for Zayed Ruler of Al Ain at Sharjah International Book Fair 2019

At the book Signing Corner of the Sharjah International Book Fair, the National Archives celebrated the launch of the English version of Zayed Bin Sultan Al Neyan, Ruler of Al Ain, 1946-1966, which it recently published.  The book-signing ceremony attracted many VIPs, members of the media and visitors of the book fair.

The National Archives is interested in organizing the book-signing ceremony of its recently published book Zayed Bin Sultan Al Neyan, Ruler of Al Ain, because of its rich content and the fact that it sheds light on Sheikh Zayed’s biography and his emergence as a national leader who enjoyed the support of his people.  The National Archives is also keen to deliver the rich content of the book to non-Arab communities in the UAE, where more than two hundred nationalities live and coexist. In fact, the English edition with its documented information is relevantly launched in the Year of Tolerance to enlighten readers about the Founding Leader, who planted the seeds of tolerance in Emirati society long time ago.

The book refers to the large number of castles and fortifications at Al Ain and to the secrets behind the attention the region dedicated to this type of buildings. Furthermore, it lists the villages of Al Ain region, namely Al Ain, Al Muwaiji, Al Muatarid, Al Jimi, Al Qattara, Al Jahili, Al Hili, Mrajib, and Al Masoudi. The book sheds light on Al Ain Museum, which contains displays from the various historical periods through which the city and its villages went in ancient history. It also confirms the boom Al Ain experienced under the Islamic civilization, and its wide trade relations with neighboring areas. Furthermore, it deals with Al Ain area in modern history, all the way to the era of Sheikh Zayed Bin Khalifa, who adopted a special strategy for Al Ain counting on its tribes when administering it.

The book introduces ample information about Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. His father is Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Bin Khalifa who ruled Abu Dhabi between 1922 and 1926, and restored peace. His mother is Sheikha Salama Bint Butti Bin Khadim Bin Neheiman of Alqubaisat, which was a member of the Bani Yas tribal Coalition. The most prominent section of this tribe is Al-Neheiman, to which Sheikh Sheikha Salama belongs. She had played a key role in bridging the gaps and achieving tribal understanding in that early era of the history of Abu Dhabi.

The book depicts some features of Zayed's childhood and youth, and his voracious appetite for knowledge, which motivated his engagement in self-learning and. Additionally, it states that Zayed benefited from his Mutawaa (local tutor), from debates and discussions at Majlis (social gatherings) and from his family members, and it monitors his relationship with his parents and siblings as all of this had a great impact in shaping his leadership and his patriarchal personality. Perhaps the long years Sheikh Zayed spent in Al Ain had so enriched his experience in the affairs of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain with smallest details of life that his advice and guidance became essential and indispensable when it came to all matters relating to the region.

The book consists of three chapters. The first chapter is about Sheikh Zayed’s administration of Al Ain, which began in 1946. He was well aware of the region’s affairs and circumstances. The fact that he grew up among the tribes enabled him to understand profoundly their policy and qualified him to follow a new route when administering Al Ain region as he adopted a decentralization style designating its people to take part in its administration. Realizing the agricultural importance of Al Ain, he strived to develop the agricultural sector adopting three priorities, namely digging new Aflaj (water channels) and restoring the old Aflaj, expanding the agricultural area and fixing the irrigation system.  Sheikh Zayed was interested in afforesting Al Ain area, and he devised an integrated agricultural plan that embodies his vision. He paid great attention the sector of education as he understood its significance to the development of the region; thus, it witnessed huge progress. Other areas in which he was interested included health, trade, and the construction of roads and transport networks.

The second chapter is about Sheikh Zayed’s policy concerning Al Ain Tribes. He sought to bridge the gaps in the tribes’ points of view so that Al Ain region could enjoy stability and security. He had his own ways in containment of tribes and he was interested in addressing the several issues and conflicts that erupted between them. He followed varied methods to contain the tribes and extend his influence. It was noticeable that he preferred to use the carrot rather than the stick when dealing with the tribes sometimes. He followed a fatherly approach, spent money to achieve justice and equality, and dealt in a balanced manner with all the tribal forces in the region. He was able to have close relations with tribal leaders because of his humility, simplicity and informality.

The last chapter deals with Sheikh Zayed’s relations with Al Ain neighbors. It sheds light on his relations with the neighboring emirates, which were known then as Trucial States, and it demonstrated his wisdom in solving the borders conflicts.

The book addresses the geography of Al Ain and identifies its inhabiting Arab tribes such as the Bani Yas tribe, which is a tribal coalition made up from sixteen clans or sub-tribes led by Al Nahyan of the Al Bu Falah. These clans are: Al Bu Falah, Al Bufalasah, Al Bumheir, Alsudan, Alremeithat, Alqubeisat , Alhuwaml, Almjalbh, Almaharbah, Almurar, Almizarea, Alqemzan, Al Buamim, which  include Almshagain, Al Bouhmir. The branches of Bani Yas also include Al Boualkheil, Alsbays, and Alkhmara.

There were also other tribes that allied with Bani Yas such as Alahbab, Alawamer, and Almanaseer, which is divided into three branches: Al Bumndhir, Alburhama, and Al Buchar. Some of its allies are Al Dawaher, which has branches including Aldramkah, Al Ali Bin Said, Al Shabib, Alsharashera, Alnawaser, Alhazzazemh, Eyal Saad, Ahal Annan, Al khamaseen, Alknud, Alarar, Almutaweah, and Almashalah, Alhawadeth, Aljbahnah, Alkwytat, Albrawma, Allahahim, Aldlamkah, Ahl Alkakhakha, Alshrayna, Almatarish, Alneyadat.

 Some of the tribes of the region are Bani Qatb, Bani Kaab and Al Naeem.

The book contained several historical documents relevant to the book chapters in addition to maps, charts and pictures that document the late sheikh Zayed’s interest in Al Ain Region and its development.

Book title: Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Ruler of Al Ain (1946-1966)

Author: Youssef Abdul Rahman Mohamed Al Harmoudi

Publisher: The National Archives, 2019, First English Edition, 137 pages